Adult Sunday School meets at 9:30 a.m. during the school year. Nursery care and Sunday School for children and youth happen simultaneously. Offerings vary from discussions of book and video resources to Bible study and special presentations of current topics and events. We strive to offer classes that both challenge and support you on your faith journey. Past offerings have included:
- Beyond the Dream: The Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. for Contemporary Christians
- Book studies on Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor, and Pastors Sound Off: Causes We Can't Keep Quiet About
- Courses on gender identity, aging, Christmas carols, understanding the Bible
- Visits from the wider community including a class on Respecting Indigenous Cultures, a visit from Rabbi Moti Rieber, discussion with transgender activist Stephanie Mott
Fall 2018 Adult Education Opportunities
Midweek Book Study
"Who Do You Say I Am?" - exploring who Jesus is to us
Tuesdays from 11:30am-1pm, beginning October 9
Led by Sue Zschoche
We will begin our fall mid-week Bible Study on Tuesday, 9 October. Our subject will be the still unresolved question of who the historical Jesus was and how he was understood in his own time. Did his listeners see him primarily as a miracle worker? As a teacher of Wisdom? Was he a prophet of the end times? Or was his message perceived as more political? Was he seen as someone seeking to overthrow the Roman Empire? Bible scholars continue to debate this question and our study will attempt to unravel the question.
We will draw on a number of sources (and even a video or two). I’ve told a few people who have asked that we won’t use a book. But I’ve reconsidered. To give us a starting place, and, as a way to compare other perspectives, we will read Reza Aslan’s book, The Zealot. The book is available at Amazon, but if you would like the church to order this book, do let me know.
The class meets Tuesdays, from 11:30 to 1:00. Please feel free to bring your lunch. I will provide coffee, tea, and chocolate. Hope to see you on October 9th. – Pastor Sue
Adult Sunday School at 9:30 a.m.
August 19 - September 9 (four weeks)
More Light and Truth: Understanding our UCC Identity
Led by Pastor Sue
Have you ever wondered why we identify our congregation by two names, as “(1) First Congregational Church, (2) United Church of Christ”? How did it happen that we call ourselves Congregational but stipulate that we are part of the UCC? And what does it mean to be both? That is the central subject of this four-week exploration of the unique story of the United Church of Christ, a denomination formed only sixty years ago as the merger of four separate denominational traditions with roots that that date back to colonial America and before. We will look at this history and explore how and why this merger occurred. In addition, we will also examine some of the central aspects of UCC identity, beginning with the fact that, unlike most Christian traditions, we embrace not a theology, but rather multiple theologies.
September 16 - October 14
Book study: Fierce: Women of the Bible and Their Stories of Violence, Mercy, Bravery, Wisdom, Sex, and Salvation by Alice Connor
Led by Sara K Kearns
From the publisher: "Women in the Bible - some of their names we know, others we've only heard, and others are tragically unnamed." Pastor and provocateur Alice Connor introduces these women and invites us to see them not as players in a man's story - as victims or tempters - nor as morality archetypes, teaching us to be better wives and mothers, but as fierce foremothers of the faith. These women's stories are messy, challenging, and beautiful. When we read their stories, we can see not only their particular, fearsome lives but also our own." Please contact the church office by Sep. 3 if you'd like us to order you a copy of the book.
Oct. 21 - Nov. 11 (four weeks)
Second Helping 20th Anniversary Celebration
Coordinated by Pastor Sue and the Board of Mission
This fall marks the 20th anniversary of Second Helping, our congregation’s mission to provide a hot meal to anyone in need on Sunday evenings. Beginning on October 21st, adult Sunday School will take part in that celebration to discuss the origins of this program, its impact on us and the wider community, and our hopes for the future. We’ll talk to those who were with Second Helping from the very beginning as well as those who continue the program. We’ll discuss the place of Second Helping in the broader campaign for church-based meal programs in Manhattan and we will talk to experts on food-shortage issues in Manhattan. And, of course, we will look at what our faith says about feeding our neighbors. We’ll hold our official anniversary commemoration at our annual Harvest Potluck on November 18th.
November 18 & 25 - NO CLASSES (Thanksgiving break)
December 2 - December 16 (three weeks)
Advent Class: Examining Faith Through Feelins
Coordinated by Pastor Sue and the Board of Mission
Led by Rachel Shivers
Detailed description coming soon